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Trouble Is His Biz

by John H. Dromey

About the Author: John H. Dromey was born in Northeast Missouri. He enjoys reading—mysteries in particular—and writing in a variety of genres. He’s had short fiction published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Crimson Streets, Flame Tree Fiction Newsletter, Gumshoe Review, Mystery Weekly Magazine, Thriller Magazine, Woman’s World, and elsewhere.


For many years, Gopher Hartman was the go-to guy for any overworked fellow private investigator who needed a gofer. Thus, his nickname, one (or more) might assume. One (or many) would be wrong. Gopher earned his moniker in grudging acknowledgement of his propensity for popping up in unexpected places, at unexpected times, as if from a hole in the ground. Sticking his neck out for a good cause was second nature to him.

Replete with details of his unconventional modus operandi, Gopher’s casefiles were a revelation for anyone lucky enough to visit the inner sanctum of his out-of-the-way office.

A random example.

Gopher was hired to rid a golf course of a flock of pesky waterfowl, notorious for charging the greens in search of food and pecking the tees, wooden or plastic, with a vengeance. He assessed the situation and concluded the guilty parties were birds of a feather, or at least similar enough to be of the same avian family or genus or what have you.

The PI floated a number of possible remedies that did not get off the ground. The country club board of directors declined to stock the water hazards with alligators, piranhas, or the like. They were equally cool to the notion of getting all their ducks in a row prior to enlisting the aid of a sharpshooter known as a one-shot wonder. Without even a hint of irony, considering their location, the board cautioned Gopher not to make a hole in one, let alone in the whole bunch of birds. In other words, he must not reduce the flock with a Glock.

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